There’s an exciting sound that’s emerging from the streets of Paris. Taking clear influences from West Africa and Atlanta, they’re calling it Afro-Trap. In terms of musicality and sonics, the fusion of West African Afrobeats and Southern US Trap is distinct and fresh. But digging deeper into the melting pot of syncopated drum patterns, African style chanting, 808s and typical triplet rhyming flows, there’s a distinct element of unapologetically taking pride in every aspect of the culture and identity that they hold. Even the fact they rap almost every word in French is clear indication that they don’t care about receiving approval from the US – something that every artist over here tends to seek.
In the UK, Black music crossing over from the underground to the mainstream often leads to a compromise in altering sound for the masses to understand, the same can be reflected in France. Songs that are targeted towards the appeal of the streets are 50/50 on its Afrobeats and Trap sound, whereas newer songs targeted towards the masses distinctly have more singing and more guitars. Even the newer music videos have less mandem and blocks but more women and sand.
There’s a couple sick guys doing their thing but MHD is definitely the guy you’d want to check out first. Check out the videos below aswell as a this short documentary about him and the movement on BBC Africa.